Reception changes when making a call?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jshtroutman, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. jshtroutman macrumors regular


    Sep 9, 2016
    Hey guys I was just hoping someone with more knowledge on the subject could chime in on what's happening. I have a launch day IPhone 7 with T-Mobile service. At my home I have noticed my phone on average has 2 dots of reception when on standby and normal internet surfing. However when making a call my service jumps to 4 to 5 dots every time. Having two dots still gives me great LTE speeds so it isn't a problem. What's causing this? Is my phone throwing less juice to my antenna when it's not nessary for full power reception?
  2. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    1. Enable "field test mode" for true measurements instead of "dots."

    2. Perhaps it's not related to the call, but how you're holding the phone.
    • Is the same behavior exhibited when holding it to your ear but not actually on a call?
    • What if on a call using speakerphone?
  3. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    When you are calling, is it using Wi-Fi calling, VoLTE, just regular voice?
  4. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Old info but possibly still relevant...

    What you see when idle is whatever channel & frequency band the phone is using to keep in touch with the network, typically at whatever was best when the the link to that particular tower began and not re-negotiated unless necessary.

    Once you establish a call, the tower and phone may renegotiate which channel & frequency band has the least congestion and best signal at *that* moment.
  5. jshtroutman thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 9, 2016
    It does the same thing when on speaker also.
    It's using regular voice I think. Sometimes I can see three little letters for a brief second when I end the call. I think the first letter is G.
    That would make since. It done the exact same thing with my GS7 Edge before I got the 7.
  6. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    It sounds like you are using a different network when you are calling, not LTE, so when you are in a call it's showing the signal for that network, and then outside of the call it's showing the LTR signal, both of which can be of different strengths and quality and thus different dots/bars.
  7. Channan macrumors 68030


    Mar 7, 2012
    New Orleans
    Do you switch from LTE to 4G when you make a call?
  8. spooned12000rpm macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2009
    York, UK
    Yeah, I've noticed this behaviour for years, generally at work I get 2-3 dots with a 4G signal, if I make a call then the data network will drop to 3G or E with 4-5 dots of signal. I remember reading somewhere that said this is normal and is also linked to the fact that data usage is interrupted during a call (like the phone is programmed to put all its effort into maintaining a decent call signal).

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